Re: CSS with Netscape

Subject: Re: CSS with Netscape
From: Steve Fouts <stefou -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 08:13:37 -0800

Joy Hamilton <joy_hamilton -at- ericsson -dot- com> wrote ...
> I have been dabbling with creating stylesheets for my HTML pages. After
> following all of the directions and inserting the code into my existing
> page...
[snip]
> If I am creating pages with style sheets, do I have to go back to the
> old fashion way as well to make sure that it will display in browsers
> that don't support it? I am sure not everyone in the world downloads the
> newest browser every time it comes out....so when stylesheets are fully
> utilized in the browsers, not everyone will have the tool to use
> them....so frustrating....

Cascading Style Sheets is a good way to find yourself intensely hating
both of the browser camps for their habit of releasing absolute crap and
calling it a product. Internet Explorer 3 claims to support CSS1, but the
support was so spotty and bug ridden that it might as well have been non-
existent, as it is in Navigator 3 (nonexistent that is). IE 4 supports more
of the standard, but not all, and some of the support is buggy. IE 5
claims to be fully CSS2 compliant, but I have not tested it fully and will
believe it only when I see it. NN 4 support is better than IE 3 but worse
than IE 4, and NN 5 promises to be fully CSS2 compliant.

Conversion rate on browsers on the Internet is somewhere around 1-2%
per month last time I heard, with the conversion rate becoming nearly
0 after a while as some folks will never convert. So you will always
see some microscopic fraction of your users surfing with Netscape 2
for example.

Having said all that, I have completely purged all of the font tags from
my own HTML and replaced them with CSS equivalents. This works well on
IE 3 and above and NN 4 and above while users of non-visual and older
browsers can still see the info, but lose my clever use of san-serif
headings and serif body type in something more aesthetically pleasing
than Times New Roman, and my subtle alterations in the use of white
space. I can live with that. The advantages to using CSS over font tags
are legion. Smaller code, easily modified site-wide, separate information
from presentation, etc. Not to mention that <FONT> is now officially
deprecated in HTML 4.

Referring to Web Review's handy dandy browser compatibility charts can
save some of your sanity. It may also cure you of taking sides in the
browser wars? Do I have a preference? No. I hate 'em both.

http://webreview.com/wr/pub/guides/style/style.html

--
Steve Fouts stefou -at- eskimo -dot- com

If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank,
and that settles it. It mean, it does nowadays, because now
we can't burn him.
- Mark Twain


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